The skin is our largest organ and has to master a wide range of challenges every day: It protects our body from chemical, mechanical and thermal influences, it wards off pathogens, it regulates body temperature, it influences our water balance, it serves as a sensory organ and it helps us to a unique look. Reason enough to care for them and to take care of them as best we can. Because we ourselves have control over many external factors that can negatively affect the appearance of the skin. We can choose a healthier lifestyle, reduce negative influencing factors and support our skin with the right cleansing and care. Here you can find out everything about the exogenous factors that damage our skin and the countermeasures you can take to prevent them.
One of the most damaging external factors for the skin is UV radiation from the sun. It is by far the most common cause of premature skin aging – but it is also the most avoidable. Because under normal sun conditions or with sufficient sun protection, the skin is quite capable of fending off the toxic UV rays. However, if there is too much sunlight, free radicals are formed, which weaken the skin's protective mechanisms and trigger cell-damaging oxidation processes in body tissue. In the worst case, this can lead to skin cancer, in the best case to premature skin aging in the form of wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin.
- Health consequences: Black or white skin cancer
- Aesthetic consequences: age spots, spider veins, wrinkles, rough and sagging skin
Environmental pollution & particulate matter
An external influencing factor that we unfortunately can hardly avoid in our western world is air pollution. Especially people who live in big cities are exposed to these toxic environmental pollution particularly often. Smog, smoke, particulate matter and exhaust fumes are not only harmful to our lungs, but also to our skin. They lie on the skin and thus prevent the supply of oxygen. At the same time, they are so microscopically small that they can penetrate our pores almost unhindered and cause irreparable damage there. By eating through the skin's barrier layer, they impair the skin's resistance and alter the acid-base balance. As a result, the skin becomes more sensitive, more susceptible to skin diseases and shows premature signs of aging.
- Health consequences: changes in the acid-base balance and the protective function of the skin
- Aesthetic consequences: redness, wrinkles, pimples, blisters, dry and irritated skin
Weather & Climate
Rain, cold, wind and heat - these extreme weather conditions make things difficult for our skin and demand a lot of resilience. A natural fatty film is supposed to protect our skin from these environmental influences, but at low temperatures the sebum production of the cells decreases. As a result, the barrier layer becomes thinner, moisture evaporates and the protective function weakens. Especially in winter, there are so many imbalances that manifest themselves in dry, chapped skin. But even in summer, the cold can become a problem if the air conditioning is set too high. Due to this cold and extremely dry air, the skin quickly loses moisture, loses its elasticity and dries out. The opposite problem occurs when it is very hot, such as in summer or when going to the sauna: more sweat is produced, the skin becomes greasy and impurities form.
- Aesthetic consequences of heat: dilated pores, oily skin, blemishes, acne, rosacea
- Aesthetic effects of cold: dry skin, redness
A healthy and balanced diet is not only important for our health, but also for our complexion. Especially foods with many antioxidants and vitamins, but with little fat and sugar, have a positive effect on our external appearance. It makes the skin appear younger, firmer and shows a healthier complexion. In contrast, a diet high in sugar or deficient in it can lead to premature aging of the skin. For example, high-sugar food causes increased insulin production, which stimulates cell growth, enlarges the sebaceous glands and can lead to skin blemishes or acne.
Skin diseases caused by malnutrition, on the other hand, are rather rare in our affluent society, but can occur in people in need of care or on extreme diets. Another problem with diets are weight fluctuations if they lead to recurring stretching of the skin and thus promote sagging of the skin.
- Aesthetic consequences: acne, oily skin, inflammation, sagging skin, premature aging
Alcohol & Nicotine
Alcohol and nicotine are a great burden for our entire organism and our skin also suffers from the toxic substances. For example, alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate, weakens the skin's natural defenses and promotes blemishes, as the sebum production and keratinization of the skin increases. In addition, alcohol has a drying effect, which promotes wrinkling and reduces the elasticity of the skin.
Nicotine is similarly harmful to the skin and can also cause premature skin aging. Because active and passive smoking constricts the blood vessels, which impedes the absorption of nutrients and moisture by the skin. At the same time, the tobacco smoke creates free radicals, which inhibit the formation of collagen and elastin fibers.
As a result, the skin becomes drier, loses its elasticity and tends to form wrinkles prematurely.
- Aesthetic consequences of alcohol: redness, wrinkles, hypersensitivity, blemishes (pustules & blackheads)
- Aesthetic consequences of nicotine: age spots, wrinkles, sallow complexion
Probably the most avoidable negative, external influence on the skin includes the wrong skin care. Because washing too often, chemical peelings and aggressive care products can damage the cell structure of the skin and weaken the barrier function of the outer epidermis layer. At the same time, the layer of fat on the skin's surface becomes thinner, which means that the skin loses moisture and dries out more easily. Similar problems also arise when chemical substances are absorbed by our skin via household cleaning agents or detergents: they disturb the natural balance of the skin flora.
- Aesthetic consequences: dry skin, hypersensitivity, neurodermatitis
- Health consequences: damage to the cell structure, impairment of the skin's barrier function, susceptibility to skin infections
Conclusion: What to do against premature skin aging?
➤ Reduce negative, exogenous factors
Unfortunately, some of these external factors that negatively affect our skin's appearance are unavoidable - but not all. This is precisely why you should make sure to protect your skin as best you can: ensure a healthy room climate, apply sufficient sun protection, eat healthily, avoid alcohol and cigarettes and use high-quality cleaning and care products such as those from Zkin Lab. Zkin Lab's biochemical skin analysis takes into account the influences that external factors have left on the skin. The skin swabs for the skin analysis can be conveniently used at home and then sent to our laboratory. There we identify your skin needs, determine the right ingredients and create an individual face cream for you.
Take the destiny of your skin into your own hands and choose a healthy, young and radiantly beautiful complexion with Zkin Lab!